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Redevelopment now, regularisation later: Centre on unauthorised colonies

Unlike the preceding governments, which promised regularisation of unauthorised colonies every time that poll were round the corner, the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), headed by union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, instead has conveyed that it favoured redevelopment over regularisation.

“Regularisation without redevelopment will only create more slums in the city. The ministry will bring out a detailed programme on redevelopment plan in these areas very soon,” a senior MoUD official said. Though there is pressure from the Delhi unit of the BJP to regularise these colonies ahead of the state assembly polls, the Centre has so far resisted the pressure as it believes that redevelopment would be the ‘long-term solution’ to the ills plaguing these colonies.

There are 1469 unauthorised colonies, which is inhabited by nearly 50 lakh people, will be a major issue in the upcoming elections. However, senior officials of the ministry said that instead of misleading these residents, as done in the past, it would be better to opt for redevelopment as it would put an end to the creation of slums and improve lifestyle in these colonies.

According to a senior official, the MoUD believes that with redevelopment plan real qualitative changes can be brought in these areas rather than cosmetic changes by regularisation. Under pressure from the local BJP leaders, Delhi’s Urban Development Department had sent a seven-page note to MoUD Secretary Shankar Aggarwal recommending regularisation of all 1,469 colonies on as-is-where-is basis. The real estate interests prompting such proposal cannot be ruled out, said
MoUD officials.

Justifying the stand for redevelopment, the MoUD official added that Central government firmly believed that by just regularising these colonies, the people residing in these areas will not get real freedom as only redevelopment can ensure the subsequent right of sale and purchase of land and provide basic amenities such as schools, community centres, sewage, parks and other facilities.

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